With the rapid spread of COVID-19 and its effects on global societies, misinformation is spreading around the world, causing confusion, panic and real-world physical harm. Meedan is committed to making certain our toolkit and the code upon which it’s built can be utilized in service of addressing the challenges of trust, information quality and critical research.

"This is a time for science and solidarity," explained U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres in a recent speech establishing a new UN Communications Response Initiative. "Yet the global ‘misinfo-demic’ is spreading…. Harmful health advice and snake-oil solutions are proliferating. Wild conspiracy theories are infecting the Internet. Hatred is going viral, stigmatizing and vilifying people and groups."

The Open COVID Pledge calls on organizations around the world to make their patents and copyrights freely available in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pledge was developed by the Open COVID Coalition, an international group of scientists and lawyers seeking to accelerate the rapid development and deployment of diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics, medical equipment and software solutions in this urgent public health crisis.

Meedan thanks the organizers of the Open COVID Pledge and is proud to join this effort, recognizing the value that the exchange of technology and ideas can bring to our work. All our code is made available under an MIT open source license, including Check, our collaborative media annotation software; Check Mark, a cross-platform bookmarking extension; and tools and extensions for text/media analysis, URL parsing, archiving and rendering, and claim and image matching, amongst other features.

We are also happy to support organizations working in the public interest with free access to our toolkit. If you are interested in using our tools, please contact us at hello@meedan.com.

We invite others working on information trust and equity on the internet to join us in supporting this initiative.

  1. Online conversations are heavily influenced by news coverage, like the 2022 Supreme Court decision on abortion. The relationship is less clear between big breaking news and specific increases in online misinformation.
  2. The tweets analyzed were a random sample qualitatively coded as “misinformation” or “not misinformation” by two qualitative coders trained in public health and internet studies.
  3. This method used Twitter’s historical search API
  4. The peak was a significant outlier compared to days before it using Grubbs' test for outliers for Chemical Abortion (p<0.2 for the decision; p<0.003 for the leak) and Herbal Abortion (p<0.001 for the decision and leak).
  5. All our searches were case insensitive and could match substrings; so, “revers” matches “reverse”, “reversal”, etc.
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Published on
April 20, 2020
April 20, 2022